Many things go into planning a camping trip and the plans you make will vary from trip to trip depending on a range of circumstances. Here, however, are a few tips that should apply to most of your camping adventure preparations.
Consider the Weather
The first thing you should do is to think about the climate at the location and the time of year you’re heading off camping. Clothing that meets the weather challenges, be they hot or cold, is fundamental not only to your enjoyment of the trip but, in extreme weather climates, could mean the difference between life and death. Clothes that are not too constricting are usually best and you should bring along enough clothes to last you for the duration of the trip. It’s also worthwhile taking a couple of extra outer warmer layers. You can always get cooler but it’s not quite so simple to keep warm.
Consider the Size of Your Party and How You’re Getting There
If you’re travelling on foot as opposed to by car, you’re going to be restricted in the amount of gear you can carry on your person but ensure that there are enough tents, sleeping bags, food supplies and other items which you deem essential to accommodate your whole party.
Simple foods are best for cooking and you should try to minimise the amount of fresh produce that you take with you. Whilst things like fresh meat, poultry and dairy produce can be taken, it provides you with the additional burden of keeping it fresh and having to consume it within a limited time. Also ensure that if you’re taking a stove, you have enough gas or fuel supplies to last the whole trip.
Whether you’re camping off the beaten track or going to stay on a recreational campground, make sure you know the level of facilities and support that are available once you’re there as you may need to make extra provisions for certain items. Try to find out what kind of access there is to drinking water as it’s even more important to have enough water than food. Also, ensure you’re familiar with the rules and regulations of the area in which you’re camping. Find out in advance if there are any restrictions and/or regulations, especially around issues such as building a fire for cooking or warmth.
Make sure that any children you take along with you have enough recreational tools, e.g. board games, colouring pads, books etc in the event of a rainy day. Rainy days will seem even longer if you’re children are bored and unoccupied.
First Aid kit
Accidents do happen so make sure you take your first aid kit with you and, more importantly, know how to use the things in it and what to do in the event of an accident or emergency.
Check lists will differ tremendously from person to person and from group to group but make sure you sit down before the trip and carefully plan out all the things you’re going to take with you and tick them off one by one as you pack them.
A camping trip often involves adventure and experiences of the great outdoors that you wouldn’t normally get from a package holiday. With that, comes some element of risk so be sure you leave a family member or close friend an idea of your itinerary, where you’re likely to be located at any given time and, if you’re planning on moving around from place to place, let them know when they can expect you back and agree to check in with them now and again. That way, if you fail to get in touch, it may be an indication that you are in difficulty and they can summon help.
Planning a camping trip needn’t be tedious. If all the family get involved, it can be great fun and provide a sense of anticipation and excitement at the trip ahead.